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NBA Draft 2012: 6 Players Guaranteed to Shake Up the Draft

Eric HampfordContributor IIIApril 4, 2012

NBA Draft 2012: 6 Players Guaranteed to Shake Up the Draft

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    Now that the Kentucky Wildcats have been crowned as the 2012 National Champions, it's time for the 2012 NBA draft to take center stage in the college basketball world.

    This year's draft class looks to be exceptionally loaded, and there are several big-name players who will begin embarking on their NBA careers.

    While big-name college stars such as Anthony Davis, Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones III and Thomas Robinson will be flooding the headlines over the next three months, there are also several talented college prospects who will be flying under the radar leading up to draft day.

    Here are six prospects who will certainly shake up the 2012 NBA draft with their limitless skill and ability.

Will Barton, Memphis

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    The sophomore had a breakout season this year for the Memphis Tigers. He absolutely dominated opponents all season long on his way to winning the 2012 Conference USA Player of the Year award.

    On the season, he averaged 18.1 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Tigers, while also dishing out 3.0 assists each game.

    The 6'6" wiry scorer will be a superb scoring guard at the next level. He has solid ball handling skills for his size and is excellent in transition. Although he is still quite skinny, his 8.1 rebounds per game show that he is absolutely fearless in the paint and uses his lengthy frame to his advantage.

Terrence Jones, Kentucky

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    The Kentucky power forward will be one of the most talked about prospects leading up to draft day and for good reason. He had a solid sophomore season but was underwhelming by many people's views.

    His 12.5 points and 7.0 weren't the most impressive, but you must keep in mind that he was playing in a loaded Wildcats frontcourt with Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist—his teammates who very well could be drafted first and second in June.

    At 6'9" and 250 pounds, the southpaw has the size to be an effective power forward at the next level. He also combines a solid post game with a sweet shooting stroke that will make him a valuable asset to any team looking to draft him in the first round.

Moe Harkless, St. John's

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    The St. John's freshman star made his first season in the Big Apple excellent enough to be his last. He thoroughly dominated the Big East all season long and averaged 15.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in the process. 

    The New York City native passes the eye test at 6'8", with a long wingspan and a rapidly improving outside game. He excels when attacking the rim and loves to rebound the basketball, which perspective NBA teams will absolutely love about him.

    He also plays his best basketball against the best teams. Against Kentucky this season, he scored 16 points and snatched 10 rebounds while dominating the Duke Blue Devils to the tune of 30 points and 13 rebounds.

Tony Wroten, Washington

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    The Seattle-born star showcased his dazzling skills in his only season on the University of Washington campus. In an extremely disappointing season for the Pac-12 as a whole, Tony Wroten was one of the few bright spots.

    On the year, he averaged 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.9 steals per game. The 6'5" point guard has the overall skills to be a big-time lead guard at the next level after his game fully matures.

    He loves to make crafty passes in traffic and absolutely lives for getting the crowd excited with his play. He is an extremely confident player, which some people mistake for cockiness.

    The fact of the matter is that Wroten is very good, and he knows it. Lucky for him, many NBA teams know it as well.

Dion Waiters, Syracuse

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    The biggest breakout player of the 2011-12 college basketball season, Dion Waiters, used his strong year to catapult himself into the first-round of the 2012 NBA draft. On the year, he averaged 12.6 points while providing big scoring games and highlight reel dunks all season long for Orange fans.

    The 6'4" powerfully built shooting guard will be a big-time scorer at the next level. He is a confident shooter who excels in the open floor. He is always in attack mode and is known for bringing down the house with his powerful rim assaults.

    While the rest of his game is still developing, this young player has more potential than almost any other college basketball prospect.

Tony Mitchell, North Texas

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    The star of the Sun Belt Conference this season was freshman power forward Tony Mitchell. The one-time Missouri commitment had to make a pit stop in Denton, Texas before he takes his powerful game to the NBA next season.

    Coming out of high school as a nationally acclaimed top 30 prospect, the Mean Green were lucky to land this budding star due to academic issues at Mizzou.

    In his only season at North Texas, he dominated with averages of 14.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. He is a physical specimen who will dunk absolutely everything he can.

    He reminds NBA pundits of a young Kenyon Martin, which should have him drafted in the first round come June.

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